A brilliant display of spin bowling from Nathan Lyon dragged Australia back into contention in their fourth and final Test against India at Feroz Shah Kotla here on Saturday.
The off-spinner left the field with figures of five for 94 as India closed on 266 for eight — a disappointing total after they had bowled Australia out for 262. At 108 without loss their pursuit of a series whitewash looked a straightforward one but Lyon then ripped through their line-up to change the landscape, leaving them just four runs ahead going into today’s third day.
The 25-year-old Lyon was revved up after having a leg-before appeal against Cheteshwar Pujara turned down, but nailed the opener for 52 shortly after. Then he snared Virat Kohli (1) and should have had Sachin Tendulkar walking when the master batsman misread a sweep and was rapped in front of his stumps. He was let off by the umpire, though, and survived through to 32 when the same bowler trapped him lbw.
In between times, Murali Vijay gloved a Peter Siddle bouncer to Matthew Wade (57) and Ajinkya Rahane was caught at leg slip off Lyon. India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni came and went for 24, out caught off James Pattinson, before Ravindra Jadeja (43 to Glenn Maxwell) and R Ashwin (12 to Lyon on the last ball of the day) departed also.
Lyon was clearly disappointed with a number of decisions while Siddle had a number of heated exchanges with the Indian batsman before receiving a warning for running on the wicket. It was a far better finishing position that Australia could have hoped for, having been cleaned up before lunch.
India had been slightly frustrated by tail-enders Siddle and Pattinson, who had joined forces yesterday with the tourists 189 for eight. Siddle, resuming on 47, reached his maiden Test fifty before being bowled between bat and pad for 51 to hand R Ashwin his five-for. Pattinson (30) was the final wicket to fall.
Australia: 262 all out (Peter Siddle 51, Steven Smith 46, Phil Hughes 45; R Ashwin 5-57, Ishant Sharma 2-35).
India: 266-8 (Murali Vijay 57, Cheteshwar Pujara 52, Ravindra Jadeja 43; Nathan Lyon 5-94, Glenn Maxwell 1-8)